With the arrival of the beautiful autumn season, the waters in the lakes and rivers became as clear as crystal and filled with fragrant lotus flowers, and breezes blew very pleasantly. At that time KášášŁáša entered the forest of VášndÄvana with the cows and cowherd boys. KášášŁáša was very much pleased with the atmosphere of the forest, where flowers bloomed and bees and drones hummed very jubilantly. While the birds, trees and plants were all looking very happy, KášášŁáša, tending the cows and accompanied by ĹrÄŤ BalarÄma and the cowherd boys, began to vibrate His transcendental flute. After hearing the vibration of the flute of KášášŁáša, the gopÄŤs in VášndÄvana remembered Him and began to talk amongst themselves about how nicely KášášŁáša was playing His flute. When the gopÄŤs were describing the sweet vibration of KášášŁášaâs flute, they also remembered their pastimes with Him; thus their minds became disturbed, and they were unable to describe completely the beautiful vibration. While discussing the transcendental vibration, they remembered also how KášášŁáša dressed, decorated with a peacock feather on His head, just like a dancing actor, and with blue flowers pushed over His ear. His garment glowed yellow-gold, and He was garlanded with a VaijayantÄŤ necklace. Dressed in such an attractive way, KášášŁáša filled up the holes of His flute with the nectar emanating from His lips. So they remembered Him, entering the forest of VášndÄvana, which is always glorified by the footprints of KášášŁáša and His companions.
KášášŁáša was very expert in playing the flute, and the gopÄŤs were captivated by the sound vibration, which was attractive not only to them but to all living creatures who heard it. One of the gopÄŤs told her friends, âThe highest perfection of the eyes is to see KášášŁáša and BalarÄma entering the forest and playing Their flutes and tending the cows with Their friends.â
Persons who are constantly engaged in the transcendental meditation of seeing KášášŁáša, internally and externally, by thinking of Him playing the flute, entering the VášndÄvana forest and tending the cows with the cowherd boys have really attained the perfection of samÄdhi. SamÄdhi (trance) means absorption of all the activities of the senses in a particular object, and the gopÄŤs indicate that the pastimes of KášášŁáša are the perfection of all meditation and samÄdhi. It is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gÄŤtÄ that anyone who is always absorbed in the thought of KášášŁáša is the topmost of all yogÄŤs.
Another gopÄŤ expressed her opinion that KášášŁáša and BalarÄma, while tending the cows with the cowherd boys, appeared just like actors going to play on a dramatic stage. KášášŁáša was dressed in glowing garments of yellow, BalarÄma in blue, and They held new twigs of mango tree, peacock feathers and bunches of flowers in Their hands. Dressed with garlands of lotus flowers, They were sometimes singing very sweetly among Their friends. One gopÄŤ told her friends, âHow is it KášášŁáša and BalarÄma are looking so beautiful?â Another gopÄŤ said, âMy dear friends, we cannot even think of His bamboo fluteâwhat sort of pious activities did it execute so that it is now enjoying the nectar of the lips of KášášŁáša, which is actually the property of us gopÄŤs?â KášášŁáša sometimes kisses the gopÄŤs; therefore the transcendental nectar of His lips is available only to them. So the gopÄŤs asked, âHow is it possible that the flute, which is nothing but a bamboo rod, is always engaged in enjoying the nectar from KášášŁášaâs lips? Because the flute is engaged in the service of the Supreme Lord, the mother and the father of the flute must be happy.â
The lakes and the rivers are considered to be the mothers of the trees because the trees live simply by drinking water. So the waters of the lakes and rivers of VášndÄvana were in a happy mood, full of blooming lotus flowers, because the waters were thinking, âHow is it that our son, the bamboo rod, is enjoying the nectar of KášášŁášaâs lips?â The bamboo trees standing by the banks of the rivers and the lakes were also happy to see their descendant so engaged in the service of the Lord, just as persons who are advanced in transcendental knowledge take pleasure in seeing their descendants engage in the service of the Lord. The trees were overwhelmed with joy and were incessantly yielding honey, which flowed from the beehives hanging on their branches.
Another gopÄŤ spoke thus to her friends about KášášŁáša: âDear friend, our VášndÄvana is proclaiming the glories of this entire earth because this planet is glorified by the lotus footprints of the son of DevakÄŤ. Besides that, when Govinda plays His flute, the peacocks immediately become mad, as if they had heard the rumbling of a new cloud. When all the animals and trees and plants, either on the top of Govardhana Hill or in the valley, see the dancing of the peacocks, they all stand still and listen to the transcendental sound of the flute with great attention. We think that this boon is not possible or available on any other planet.â Although the gopÄŤs were village cowherd women and girls, they had extensive Vedic knowledge. Such is the effect of Vedic civilization. People in general would learn the highest truths of the Vedas simply by hearing from authoritative sources.
Another gopÄŤ said, âMy dear friends, just see the deer! Although they are dumb animals, they have approached the son of MahÄrÄja Nanda, KášášŁáša. Not only are they attracted by the dress of KášášŁáša and BalarÄma, but as soon as they hear the playing of the flute, the deer, along with their husbands, offer respectful obeisances unto the Lord by looking at Him with great affection.â The gopÄŤs were envious of the deer because the deer were able to offer their service to KášášŁáša along with their husbands. The gopÄŤs thought themselves not so fortunate because whenever they wanted to go to KášášŁáša, their husbands were not very happy.
Another gopÄŤ said, âMy dear friends, KášášŁáša is so nicely dressed that He appears to be the impetus to various kinds of ceremonies held by the womenfolk. Even the wives of the denizens of heaven become attracted after hearing the transcendental sound of His flute. Although they are traveling in the air in their airplanes, enjoying the company of their husbands, on hearing the sound of KášášŁášaâs flute, they immediately become perturbed. Their hair is loosened, and their tight belts are slackened.â This means that the transcendental sound of the flute of KášášŁáša extended to all corners of the universe. Also, it is significant that the gopÄŤs knew about the different kinds of airplanes flying in the sky.
Another gopÄŤ said to her friends, âMy dear friends, the cows are also charmed as soon as they hear the transcendental sound of the flute of KášášŁáša. It sounds to them like the pouring of nectar, and they immediately spread their long ears just to catch the liquid nectar of the flute. As for the calves, they are seen with the nipples of their mothers pressed in their mouths, but they cannot suck the milk. They remain struck with devotion, and tears glide down from their eyes, illustrating vividly how they are embracing KášášŁáša heart to heart.â These phenomena indicate that even the cows and calves in VášndÄvana knew how to cry for KášášŁáša and embrace Him heart to heart. Actually, the perfection of KášášŁáša consciousness can be culminated in the shedding of tears from the eyes.
Another young gopÄŤ told her mother, âMy dear Mother, the birds, who are all looking at KášášŁáša playing on His flute, are sitting very attentively on the branches and twigs of different trees. From their features it appears that they have forgotten everything and are engaged only in hearing KášášŁášaâs flute. This proves that they are not ordinary birds; they are great sages and devotees, and just to hear KášášŁášaâs flute they have appeared in VášndÄvana forest as birds.â Great sages and scholars are interested in Vedic knowledge, but the essence of Vedic knowledge is stated in the Bhagavad-gÄŤtÄ: vedaiĹ ca sarvair aham eva vedyaá¸Ľ [Bg. 15.15]. Through the knowledge of the Vedas, KášášŁáša has to be understood. From the behavior of these birds, it appeared that they were great scholars in Vedic knowledge and that they took to KášášŁášaâs transcendental vibration and rejected all branches of Vedic knowledge. Even the river YamunÄ, very much desiring to embrace the lotus feet of KášášŁáša after hearing the transcendental vibration of His flute, broke her fierce waves to flow very nicely with lotus flowers in her hands, just to present flowers to Mukunda with deep feeling.
The scorching heat of the autumn sunshine was sometimes intolerable, and therefore the clouds in the sky appeared in sympathy above KášášŁáša and BalarÄma and Their boyfriends while They engaged in blowing Their flutes. The clouds served as a soothing umbrella over Their heads just to make friendship with KášášŁáša.
The aborigine girls became fully satisfied when they smeared their faces and breasts with the dust of VášndÄvana, which was reddish from the touch of KášášŁášaâs lotus feet. The aborigine girls had very full breasts, and they were also very lusty, but when their lovers touched their breasts, the girls were not very much satisfied. When they came out into the midst of the forest, they saw that while KášášŁáša was walking some of the leaves and creepers of VášndÄvana had turned reddish from the kuáš kuma powder which fell from His lotus feet. His lotus feet are held by the gopÄŤs on their breasts, which are smeared with kuáš kuma powder, but when KášášŁáša travels in the VášndÄvana forest with BalarÄma and His boyfriends, the reddish powder falls on the ground. So the lusty aborigine girls, while looking toward KášášŁáša playing His flute, saw the reddish kuáš kuma on the ground and immediately took it and smeared it over their faces and breasts. In this way they became fully satisfied, although they were not satisfied when their lovers touched their breasts. All material lusty desires can be immediately satisfied if one comes in contact with KášášŁáša consciousness.
Another gopÄŤ began to praise the unique position of Govardhana Hill in this way: âHow fortunate is this Govardhana Hill, for it is enjoying the association of Lord KášášŁáša and BalarÄma, who are accustomed to walking on it. Thus Govardhana is always in touch with the lotus feet of the Lord. And because Govardhana Hill is so obliged to Lord KášášŁáša and BalarÄma, it is supplying different kinds of fruits, roots and herbs, as well as very pleasing crystal water from its lakes, in presentation to the Lord. The best presentation offered by Govardhana Hill, however, is newly grown grass for the cows and calves. Govardhana Hill knows how to please the Lord by pleasing His most beloved associates, the cows and the cowherd boys.â
Another gopÄŤ said, âEverything appears wonderful when KášášŁáša and BalarÄma travel in the forest of VášndÄvana playing Their flutes and making intimate friendship with all kinds of moving and nonmoving living creatures. When KášášŁáša and BalarÄma play on Their transcendental flutes, the moving creatures become stunned and stop their activities, and the nonmoving living creatures, like trees and plants, begin to shiver with ecstasy. These are the wonderful reactions to the vibration of the transcendental flutes of KášášŁáša and BalarÄma.â
KášášŁáša and BalarÄma carried binding ropes on Their shoulders and in Their hands, just like ordinary cowherd boys. While milking cows, cowherd boys bind the cows' hind legs with a small rope. This rope almost always hangs from the shoulders of cowherd boys, and it was not absent from the shoulders of KášášŁáša and BalarÄma. In spite of Their being the Supreme Personality of Godhead, They played exactly like cowherd boys, and therefore everything became wonderful and attractive.
While KášášŁáša was engaged in tending the cows in the forest of VášndÄvana or on Govardhana Hill, the gopÄŤs in the village were always absorbed in thinking of Him and discussing His different pastimes. This is the perfect example of KášášŁáša consciousness: to somehow or other remain always engrossed in thoughts of KášášŁáša. The vivid example is always present in the behavior of the gopÄŤs; therefore Lord Caitanya declared that no one can worship the Supreme Lord by any method which is better than the method of the gopÄŤs. The gopÄŤs were not born in very high brÄhmaáša or kášŁatriya families; they were born in the families of vaiĹyas, and not in big mercantile communities but in the families of cowherd men. They were not very well educated, although they heard all sorts of knowledge from the brÄhmaášas, the authorities of Vedic knowledge. The gopÄŤsâ only purpose was to remain always absorbed in thoughts of KášášŁáša.
Thus ends the Bhaktivedanta purport of the Twenty-first Chapter of KášášŁáša, âThe GopÄŤs Attracted by the Flute.â